Thursday, March 31, 2005

Manifesto for Scholarly Blogging

John Holbo of Crooked Timber and Belle and John Have a Blog launches a new venture. The Valve is to serve as a kind of lit-crit review magazine-slash-blog, and its goal is to make pointy-headedness available to and open to criticism from the masses. Holbo inaugurates the blog with a rather grim analysis of the statistics: the MLA boasts 30,000 members (who live on what? who produce what? who do what?), the average loss on a UP publication is over $10,000, tenure requires at least one book publication, and of course nobody wants to read most of these books, or even the journal articles they're based on. And as the snarky comments on Crooked Timber indicate, even other academics make fun of literary scholars. So, Holbo's solution:
In sum, blogging gives its informal, infectious enthusiasm - its gleeful daemon-servicing - to scholarship. Scholarship imparts its intellectual discipline to blogging. A happy union, can't you see?

I hope it works! Hey, and while you're at it--try to encourage some wild and feckless translations.